The colour, pomp and history of Rajasthan is one of India’s biggest draw-cards. Places like the Pink City of Jaipur, the Lake City of Udaipur, the Blue City of Jodhpur and romantic desert outposts such as Jaisalmer are Rajasthan personified. Most of our tours visit Jaipur and our signature tour of Rajasthan is our Passage to India group tour which takes in all the main highlights Rajasthan is also home to some of India's most colourful festivals and we offer a selection of special Festival tours to Rajasthan too.
The vibrant capital of Rajasthan - Jaipur, is known as the ‘pink city,’ after the Maharaja Ram Singh had the Old Cit y painted totally pink in 1876 to welcome the then Prince of Wales. One of the Old City’s best known landmarks is Hawa Mahal (the Palace of the Winds) - a stunning example of Rajput architecture with its pink, delicately honeycombed sandstone windows. Other highlights of Jaipur are the 18th century Jantar Mantar - a fascinating medieval observatory complex, the exuberant City Palace Complex - a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture and the colourful bazaars. Just out of town, take an elephant ride up to the stunning 16th century Amber Fort, which a must see!
Udaipur which sits on the shores of picturesque Lake Pichola, is one of Rajasthan’s most romantic towns and a favourite amongst the elite. Lake Pichola is home to the illustrious Lake Palace on Jag Niwas Island and Jagmandir Palace on Jagmandir Island. Built in 1754 as a summer palace, the Lake Palace encompasses the whole island and is now a luxury hotel. Udaipur’s other leading attraction is the City Palace, a vision in soft yellow stone on a rocky promontory on the northeast shore of Lake Pichola
Jodhpur is located at the eastern edge of the Thar Desert and is dubbed the ‘blue city’ after the distinctive colour wash of its old town houses. Lying on the ancient trade route, the city is dominated by the massive Meherangarh Fort, on top of a sheer rocky ridge and a 10km long wall surrounds the old city with 8 gates serving as entrances. The new city is settled around this walled area. Still run by the maharaja of Jodhpur, Meherangarh Fort is probably the most formidable fortress in all of Rajasthan. Inside the fort, there is a series of courtyards and palaces and the views are stunning. A popular landmark of the old city is the clock tower and dominating the city’s southeast horizon is the spectacular Umaid Bhawan Palace and Museum.
Jaisalmer, the medieval walled sandstone town perched dramatically on a flat-topped hill, is exotic, remote and beautiful. Set deep in the heart of the Thar Desert this frontier town is today one of Rajasthan’s best-loved destinations for travellers. About a quarter of the old city’s population resides within the fort walls. Off here are a tangle of alleyways and streets lined with little shops, Jain temples and the old palace of the former ruler, a portion of which is open to the public. Camel safaris in the surrounding desert are a popular activity. In January/February, the Jaisalmer Desert Festival has camel races, folk music, dancing and singing and attracts hoards of colourfully dressed Rajasthanis.
Sitting on the edge of the desert and clinging to the side of a small lake, Pushkar is an ancient Rajasthani town considered by Hindus to be one of the most sacred places in India. Pushkar is world famous for its annual Camel Fair, which also falls during the full-moon phase of Kartik Purnima.